Entangling Alliance: Politics & Diplomacy under George Washington

Entangling Alliance: Politics & Diplomacy under George Washington

Entangling Alliance: Politics & Diplomacy under George Washington

Entangling Alliance: Politics & Diplomacy under George Washington

Excerpt

This is the first book to deal with the interaction of politics and diplomacy centering on the French alliance of 1778 in the Washington years, and the second book to treat the alliance as a central theme. The first, Edward S. Corwin French Policy and the American Alliance of 1778 (Princeton, 1916), covered the period of the alliance's origins to the Treaty of Paris of September 3, 1783. Based primarily on French archival sources, written from the viewpoint of European diplomacy, and concentrating on diplomatic history almost exclusively, it concluded that even though by treaty the alliance remained in force it really ended with the peace of 1783. The alliance had done its work. The United States were free and independent and France had deprived Great Britain of a vast continent.

While stressing the Washington years, this book takes up where Professor Corwin ended, touching on the period of the Confederation, taking into account changes in points of view toward the alliance by both France and America, and showing that for over a decade the alliance still lived. Although this book covers basically the presidency of George Washington from 1789 to 1797 and assesses the period as diplomatic history, it is not a diplomatic history in the traditional sense; it is a synthesis of domestic political history and diplomatic history. Its main theme is the interaction of foreign policy and domestic politics centering on the French alliance. Although I hope it will contribute to a better understanding of Washington's presidency, it does not attempt to fill the need for a full and satisfactory account of Washington as President.

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